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Home / Academics / Careers / Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Career

Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Career

Career Description

Create original artwork using any of a wide variety of media and techniques.

What Job Titles Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Might Have

  • Artist
  • Fine Artist
  • Painter
  • Sculptor

What Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Do

  • Use materials such as pens and ink, watercolors, charcoal, oil, or computer software to create artwork.
  • Integrate and develop visual elements, such as line, space, mass, color, and perspective, to produce desired effects, such as the illustration of ideas, emotions, or moods.
  • Confer with clients, editors, writers, art directors, and other interested parties regarding the nature and content of artwork to be produced.
  • Submit preliminary or finished artwork or project plans to clients for approval, incorporating changes as necessary.
  • Maintain portfolios of artistic work to demonstrate styles, interests, and abilities.
  • Create finished art work as decoration, or to elucidate or substitute for spoken or written messages.
  • Cut, bend, laminate, arrange, and fasten individual or mixed raw and manufactured materials and products to form works of art.
  • Monitor events, trends, and other circumstances, research specific subject areas, attend art exhibitions, and read art publications to develop ideas and keep current on art world activities.
  • Study different techniques to learn how to apply them to artistic endeavors.
  • Render drawings, illustrations, and sketches of buildings, manufactured products, or models, working from sketches, blueprints, memory, models, or reference materials.
  • Create sketches, profiles, or likenesses of posed subjects or photographs, using any combination of freehand drawing, mechanical assembly kits, and computer imaging.
  • Create sculptures, statues, and other three-dimensional artwork by using abrasives and tools to shape, carve, and fabricate materials such as clay, stone, wood, or metal.
  • Study styles, techniques, colors, textures, and materials used in works undergoing restoration to ensure consistency during the restoration process.
  • Develop project budgets for approval, estimating time lines and material costs.
  • Shade and fill in sketch outlines and backgrounds, using a variety of media such as water colors, markers, and transparent washes, labeling designated colors when necessary.
  • Collaborate with engineers, mechanics, and other technical experts as necessary to build and install creations.
  • Create and prepare sketches and model drawings of cartoon characters, providing details from memory, live models, manufactured products, or reference materials.
  • Examine and test paintings in need of restoration or cleaning to determine techniques and materials to be used.
  • Create graphics, illustrations, and three-dimensional models to be used in research or in teaching, such as in demonstrating anatomy, pathology, or surgical procedures.

What Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Should Be Good At

  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.

What Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Should Be Interested In

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

What Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors and Illustrators Need to Learn

  • Fine Arts - Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Median Salary: $50,790

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.